Sepp van den Berg scored an own goal for Schalke II in his first game in five months, and his bad luck has continued with a further injury setback
Van den Berg’s season has been ruined by an ankle ligament injury suffered in October after a promising start on loan with Schalke in the Bundesliga.
The Dutchman required surgery, and after returning to light training over the winter break, he was pushed out again after complaining of ankle problems.
Yet there were encouraging signs when Van den Berg took the field for the first time in five months on Saturday, when Schalke II, the club’s reserve side, faced FC Duren.
However, the defender and his squad had a nightmarish start, with FC Duren seizing a 2-0 lead within the first 19 minutes.
Van den Berg conceded a comical own goal after playing a blind pass past goalkeeper Radomir Novakovic, allowing it to slip over the line and in.
Schalke II rallied with goals from Nelson Amadin and Marouane Balouk, while Van den Berg played the entire 90 minutes.
Nevertheless, as Schalke manager Thomas Reis said on Thursday, a twisted ankle in training earlier this week has resulted in another stay on the sidelines.
“None of the injured players will return,” he told reporters before of Saturday’s Revierderby versus Dortmund.
“Sepp van den Berg has had a minor setback, but we are being cautious with him.”
???? A comical own goal from #LFC loanee Sepp van den Berg on his return from a 5-month injury with Schalke II.
He is now sidelined with another ankle problem, with manager Thomas Reis describing it as a "slight setback." pic.twitter.com/3MZqrXnckE
— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) March 9, 2023
The hope is that Reis’ comments on the seriousness of the problem are accurate, but it can only be seen as another frustrating development in a season full of them for Van den Berg.
Since joining Schalke in August, the 21-year-old has made just four first-team appearances, and despite being chosen to the tentative Netherlands under-21s squad for this month, he is now expected to be left out.